How Is Your GPA Calculated for Dental School?


Admission to dental schools is mostly handled by the American Dental Education Association (ADEA). To facilitate the comparison of dental school applicants applying from institutions with different rules for grade point average (GPA) calculation, the ADEA has standardized the calculation process. The ADEA GPA calculation may differ somewhat from the GPA as reported on your transcripts, but, fortunately, the calculation process is simple and you can easily calculate your dental school GPA on your own.

Things You'll Need

  • Transcripts
  • Obtain a copy of your transcript for all coursework you've completed at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

  • Cross out all International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement and CLEP courses that are listed on your transcript. Eliminate any audited courses, as well as courses taken on a pass/fail basis. Cross out any incomplete or withdrawn courses. The ADEA does not include these classes in calculating your GPA, so do not include any of these classes in calculating your GPA for dental school.

  • Go through your transcript and round all credit hours to the tenth place to get the adjusted credit hours for each class. For example, if you took a class worth 5.333 credit hours, you would calculate 5.3 as the number of adjusted credit hours for that class. If your institution operates on a quarter schedule instead of a semester schedule, multiply each credit hour by 0.667 and round the result to the tenth place. For example, if you received 5 credit hours for a quarter class, multiply 5 by 0.667 to obtain 3.335 adjusted credit hours. Round 3.335 to the tenth place to obtain 3.3. Use 3.3 as the number of adjusted credit hours for that class.

  • Calculate your total number of credit hours by adding together the adjusted credit hours for all the classes on your transcript.

  • Convert each letter grade on your transcript to its number value. An A grade is assigned a base number value of 4, a B is assigned a 3, a C is assigned a 2, a D is assigned a 1 and an F is assigned a 0. For plus and minus modifiers, add or subtract 0.333 respectively. For example, a C+ is assigned a number value of 2 + 0.333 or 2.333 while a C- holds a number value of 2 - 0.333 or 1.667.

  • Multiply the number value for each grade by its corresponding number of adjusted credit hours to obtain the hour-adjusted grade for each class. A B+ grade in a course worth 5 credit hours would yield an hour-adjusted grade of 3.333 x 5 or 16.665.

  • Add together the hour-adjusted grades for all courses and divide this sum by your total number of credit hours.

  • Round the result to the hundredth place to obtain your GPA for dental school.

Tips & Warnings

  • The ADEA also calculates your science GPA and reports it separately from your cumulative GPA in your dental school applications. To calculate your science GPA, eliminate all non-science classes from your calculations.
  • If your institution grades on a numerical rather than a letter scale, see the ADEA GPA conversion guidelines for information on how to calculate your ADEA GPA.


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images
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